Mark Hamill details storyline cut from original Star Wars that changed the ending for the better

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Mar 28, 2018, 12:17 PM EDT (Updated)

As every Star Wars geek knows, Luke Skywalker was just a poor moisture farmer stuck on Tatooine, a rocky outpost in a relatively forgotten corner of the galaxy. So much so that he used to complain about life — a lot.

Case in point: When Uncle Owen orders him to clean up R2-D2 and C-3PO in the garage before dinner, the angsty teenager, in the whiniest voice ever, tells him he was “going up to Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!”

The line, of course, became an instant classic, though not in the way Mark Hamill, who plays the space saga's central hero, ever expected, as generations of fans couldn’t resist ever after ribbing Skywalker for acting his age and not doing his chores.

But in an interview with EW Morning Live on SiriusXM this week, Hamill revealed there was a reason for the complaining — and that had to do with the arc of the character over the entire trilogy and a deleted scene with best friend Biggs Darklighter that inadvertently led to the creation of one of Star Wars’ most iconic lines.

“I thought we might only be able to make the first film, because the second and third parts were predicated on how well the first one did,” the acting legend told EW. “So I said, I’m going to have to make this as juvenile as I can so there’s room for growth. And I sort of wanted to make it sound like I had four sisters and two brothers when you’d be in the car and they’d say things like, ‘You said we could go to the mallllllllll.’ So I wanted to give that flavor.’”

Of course, Hamill has been haunted by that choice for more than 40 years now, knowing even then that it was “cringe-inducing.” But it would help set up Luke’s transformation into the heroic Jedi-in-training that he would ultimately become.

And nowhere is that teenage angst more evident than the famous deleted scene at Tosche Station where Luke vents his frustrations to Biggs, who tells him he’s leaving the planet to run away and join the rebellion. Of course, we all know what happens to poor Biggs — the loss of screen time means he became a peripheral character who meets his end in the movie’s climactic attack on the Death Star.

"All of his peers ridiculed him,” The Last Jedi star elaborated about Luke’s time on Tatooine. "They call him Wormy. He’s been out in the sun too long, so you know he’s not particularly popular. He sees Biggs Darklighter, who later dies on the assault of the Death Star.”

But as Hamill notes, George Lucas’ decision to cut the scene ultimately turned out for the best. That’s because with Biggs’ diminished importance, the audience couldn’t connect emotionally with Luke losing his friend. So something had to be done in post, and it led to one of Star Wars’ most memorable moments — the late addition of Obi-Wan Kenobi telling Luke to “use the Force” during the trench run in the movie’s finale.

"That’s why I turn off the targeting device, when I see my best friend die. But since it’s rendered meaningless since you hadn’t seen him, then they had [Alec] Guinness come in and say 'Uuuuuuse the Force, Luke.' That’s when I turn off the targeting device," Hamill added. "But what I thought was really interesting is when you see Biggs, he’s in an Imperial uniform. So Luke goes, ‘Cool!’ He has no political persuasion. It’s just, get off of Tatooine. And I thought that was important.”

It seems that moment would've originally helped galvanize Luke to the side of the Rebellion, after seeing his friend killed by the Empire, but instead it became a moment to help him hone his abilities as a Jedi. And an iconic moment was born.

And now we know just how important Tosche Station was to the movie as a whole, and why that whiny line was there in the first place.